Divorce can be a complicated and emotional process for anyone, but the situation can become even more complex when one or both spouses are in the military.
Military law has its own unique set of rules and regulations that can impact divorce proceedings, including issues such as property division, spousal support, and child custody. If you are going through a divorce as a member of the military or as a military spouse, it is important to seek the guidance of a knowledgeable family law attorney who is familiar with military law.
Here, you can learn about the role of military law in divorce and how a lawyer from Griffin Family Law, PLLC, can help you navigate the complex issues that may arise. From understanding the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to ensuring that military pensions and benefits are properly divided, I am here to provide you with the guidance and support you need during this challenging time.
Important Laws Related to Military Divorce
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is a federal law that provides active-duty military members some legal protections. The purpose of the SCRA is to ensure that military members are not distracted by legal proceedings while serving their country. The law applies to a wide range of legal proceedings, including civil lawsuits, foreclosures, evictions, and some aspects of divorce proceedings.
One of the key provisions of the SCRA is the ability for military members to request a postponement of court hearings and other legal proceedings while on active duty. This provision ensures that military members are not disadvantaged in legal proceedings due to their military service.
The SCRA also limits the ability of creditors to pursue collection activities against military members on active duty. For example, creditors cannot garnish the wages of an active-duty military members or seize their property without a court order.
In divorce proceedings, the SCRA can be used to postpone court hearings or other legal proceedings while a military member is on active duty. This can be particularly important if the military member is deployed overseas and cannot participate in legal proceedings. In addition, the SCRA can provide protections for military members related to issues such as child custody and property division.
Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA)
The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) is a federal law that provides guidelines for dividing military pensions and benefits in divorce cases. The purpose of the USFSPA is to ensure that the non-military spouse in a divorce receives a fair share of the military member’s retirement benefits.
Under the USFSPA, state courts can divide military retirement pay as marital property in a divorce settlement. This means that the non-military spouse may be entitled to a portion of the military member’s retirement pay, depending on the length of the marriage and other factors.
The USFSPA also provides a framework for enforcing court orders related to the division of military retirement pay. This includes the ability to garnish the military member’s pay to ensure that the non-military spouse receives their share of the retirement benefits.
It is important to note that the USFSPA only applies to retirement pay and does not provide any rights to other military benefits, such as medical or commissary privileges. However, state courts may consider these benefits part of the overall property division in a divorce settlement.
Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act (UDPCVA)
The Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act (UDPCVA) is a federal law that provides guidelines for child custody arrangements when a military parent is deployed. The purpose of the UDPCVA is to ensure that the child’s best interests are protected and that the deployed parent can maintain a relationship with their child during and after deployment.
Under the UDPCVA, state courts must consider the military parent’s deployment as a factor in custody decisions. This means that the court must consider the unique challenges and circumstances that the military parent faces as a result of their deployment when making decisions about custody and visitation.
In addition, the UDPCVA encourages courts to facilitate communication between the deployed parent and the child. This may include arrangements for phone calls, video chats, or other forms of communication to help maintain a strong parent-child relationship.
The UDPCVA also provides guidelines for modifying custody and visitation arrangements when the deployed parent returns from deployment. The law encourages courts to create a plan that allows the deployed parent to re-establish a relationship with the child and gradually resume their parenting responsibilities.
Florida Law and Military Divorces
Florida law provides specific guidelines for military divorces, including the division of military pensions and benefits, child custody, and support issues.
Some of the key aspects of Florida law that may apply to military divorces include the following:
- Division of Military Pensions: Florida law recognizes the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA), which provides guidelines for dividing military pensions and benefits in divorce cases. The USFSPA allows state courts to classify military pensions as part of the couple’s marital property. The non-military spouse may be entitled to a portion of the military member’s retirement pay.
- Child Custody: In Florida, child custody decisions are made based on the child’s best interests. This means that the court will consider a range of things, such as the child’s relationship with their parents, each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s needs, and any special needs of the child. Military deployment may also be considered a factor in custody decisions.
- Child Support: In Florida, child support is calculated based on the income of both parents, including military pay. The court may also consider other factors, such as the child’s needs and the parenting time of each parent, when determining the appropriate amount of child support.
- Spousal Support: Spousal support, or alimony, may be awarded in military divorces under certain circumstances, such as when one spouse has significantly less income or earning potential than the other. The court will consider various factors when determining the appropriate amount and duration of spousal support.
Military divorces in Florida are subject to the same laws and regulations as civilian divorces, but there may be some additional considerations due to the unique aspects of military life.
At Griffin Family Law, PLLC, I Can Help with Your Military Divorce in Florida
Divorce is never easy, but military divorces can be particularly challenging due to the unique aspects of military life.
At Griffin Family Law, PLLC, I understand the complexities of military divorce in Florida and am here to provide you with the guidance and support you need. I am well-versed in military law and the specific challenges that can arise in military divorces, such as the division of military pensions and benefits, child custody, and support issues.
I am dedicated to helping you navigate these complex issues and protect your rights and interests throughout the divorce process. If you are facing a military divorce in Florida, contact Griffin Family Law, PLLC, today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how I can help.